MCM Ireland Comic Con was this weekend, and after having a chat with some friends on Facebook who attended and did/didn’t like it, I feel like I need to state my viewpoint on what I think of the convention scene in Ireland at the moment, specifically with regards to the types of conventions.
This first point was said by a friend, and I agree with it – MCM in Ireland is very much a trade show. It acts as a large glorified trade hall, with some side events that aren’t really key to the whole show, and a load of guests who come in and stand out being famous (apart from the few who actually do a panel). The big thing MCM is missing over here is the lack of industry support to act like a true big-dog industry show along the lines of San Diego Comic Con. Now, maybe they can do that over in London, but there’s not enough people or space to do that here.
Similar, but different, Dublin Comic Con is definitely an expo. It does have a similar amount of traders and the same general barebones schedule of events like a trade show, but also adds all of the fancy props and other paraphernalia around the venue, to go down the route of being a “family day out” to see all of the stuff. Both of these kinds of events are not my cup of tea, and as such I wouldn’t willingly attend them of my own accord or on my own money.
These both differ to the many actual conventions around the country, whose primary purpose is to host a weekend full of many different events and attractions designed to engage people for a full weekend (or at least for a full day), rather than for just a few hours.
Just something to consider – while events like MCM or DCC boast large numbers of people, a fair portion of them is their target market of people attending for a few hours on one day just to see the sights on offer and get their fill for a fairly low price.